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Calvin Perryman: Stay Alert When Hunting Turkeys

provided by John Phillips

Mossy Oak Pro Calvin Perryman lives in Troy, Alabama, and took his first turkey when he was 6 years old. Today, at age 30, Perryman primarily hunts private lands in Alabama in Wilcox, Dallas, Pike and Bullock counties. Originally from Camden, Alabama, he has some family land he also hunts there.

field turkey

One thing I've learned over the years when I'm prospecting for turkeys and trying to cover ground until I can find a gobbling bird is to always look for a place to sit down before I start calling, because I may walk up on a turkey. He may be just out of sight and may gobble even before you finish your call and come running in and see you. For this reason, I try to always look for a place to take a stand before I start calling. 

Close to the end of the season in 2018, I was getting worn-down and wasn’t paying as much attention to what I was doing like I was at the first of the season. I yelped before I looked for a place to sit down. I was walking back toward my truck and thinking more about getting into the truck and driving back to camp than I was thinking about turkeys. I don’t really know why I decided to call when I did. I was in the middle of a field, and I just stopped and yelped. Then a turkey gobbled on the other side of the field from me. He was just out of sight, and I laid down in the field. So, I don’t know whether he spotted me or what happened to him. I never saw or heard him again that day or for the next few days. 

What I Learned from the Field Gobbler:

  • You must keep your head in the game when you're turkey hunting, until the hunt’s over – no matter how tired you are, where your truck is, what you're planning to do when you return to camp, or whether you're in a field, the woods or walking down a road. You’ve got to be prepared to sit down quickly and take a turkey if you're calling to a turkey.
  • I realized that I never should call to a turkey when I'm standing out in the middle of a field with no place to hide.
  • I likely would have had a good chance to take that gobbler that day or the next day, if I didn’t spook the bird.

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